Kennesaw State University student Jaelin Bennett discovered his career path synced nicely with his wanderlust during his summer internship with The Amherst Group. The Augusta, Georgia, native who loves travel and outdoor adventures, spent hours of each day traveling between dozens of homes that Amherst was renovating and improving before leasing them to residents in the Atlanta market.
Jaelin, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management, had prior internship experiences in commercial construction. His daily activities in Amherst’s single-family residential (SFR) construction group stretched him in new ways.
“I’ve learned a lot from working with the Senior Construction Superintendents,” Jaelin noted. “I haven’t worked in residential construction before and working with team mates with decades of experience assisted me in adjusting. Their expertise in the industry helped me build knowledge that I can use to further my career.”
Jaelin holds the distinction of being Amherst’s first summer intern within the SFR construction group. While many of his intern peers working in Business Intelligence, Portfolio Management, Private Equity, and other divisions spent their workdays at computers, Jaelin was in the field, literally getting his hands dirty, inspecting renovations that would transform fixer uppers into family homes.
“My experience as an intern has helped me further understand what is expected in this role, which will help me succeed if I accept a full-time opportunity,” Jaelin acknowledged. “The thing that surprised me most was the volume of homes that are in the construction process. I’ve learned that every house is different, and I hope to learn more about the challenges that may arise during the home renovation process and the how to properly manage them.”
For Jaelin, working outside the traditional office environment was not a hinderance when it came to having quality time with company executives, something Amherst prioritizes for all summer interns.
“I often interacted with members of senior leadership in my role.” Jaelin said. “Everyone was very supportive during my internship, and I was able to get the questions that I had answered quickly and clearly.”
“In addition, I made friends on the job. These connections are very meaningful to me professionally and personally because they are with like-minded people who share a similar career path and ambitions.”
For students looking for extra-curricular ways to connect with construction professionals, Jaelin recommends getting involved with the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), one of the largest trade associations in the United States. The NAHB provides professional development opportunities for students interested in their field, and Jaelin participated in NAHB-sponsored competitions before beginning his Amherst experience.
As for his career path, Jaelin, who had considered a future in real estate development, is now leaning toward a role as a Construction Superintendent, like the individuals he shadowed as a summer intern. He credits Amherst with providing him a practical job experience that he can now build on.